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Vast magma chamber lurking beneath Cascades? 25 October 2009

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It’s a racing certainty that before we can say ‘supervolcano obsession’ the Discovery Channel will be all over this:

A vast pool of molten rock in the continental crust that underlies southwestern Washington state could supply magma to three active volcanoes in the Cascade Mountains Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams according to a new study that’s causing a stir among scientists. The study, published Sunday in the magazine Nature Geoscience, concluded that the magma pool among the three mountains could be the ‘most widespread magma-bearing area of continental crust discovered so far’.

This theory is controversial, not least because it is based solely on magneto-telluric studies: seismic data on the area gives no support whatever to the suggestion that there is a ‘vast pool of molten rock’ down there. Anyway, Dr Erik Klemetti has everything you need to know about this over at Eruptions: ‘The return of the dreaded “giant magma chamber” of the Cascades’. He’s unconvinced, it’s fair to say.

News
Controversial study suggests vast magma pool under Washington state – 5NEWSonline.com, 25 October 2009

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